Despite this being my third visit to Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour within 15 months, I couldn’t wait to see the new expansion. So far we have seen Hogwarts In The Snow and attended the opening of Privet Drive. This time we were invited to attend a press preview of the Forbidden Forest before it opens to the public on March 31st.
Throughout the stories and across the eight films, the Forbidden Forest played a key role in Harry Potter world. The new permanent expansion has been designed and built by crew members who worked on the films so you can experience the place that was off-limits to Hogwarts students.
The Forbidden Forest is made up of 19 trees. Each tree is 12 feet wide and you are able to walk through the giant roots. As you walk through the Hogwarts Castle gates you can see the original costume of Rubeus Hagrid. There is a very different atmosphere within the Forbidden Forest compared to the rest of the tour. It is certainly darker, cooler and even smells differently. The forest floor underfoot is spongy and you never know what is lurking behind the next bend.
I was blown away by coming face to face with Buckbeak, Hagrids favourite hippogriff. This part eagle part horse creature is huge and is made from thousands of hand painted feathers. It is amazing to watch the life like creature move around and even bow.
After meeting Buckbeak we followed the forest path which took us underneath the giant tree roots and we could see the first of many spider webs. There is an escape route for those not wishing to come face to face with Aragog, the giant spider. As you watch Aragog come out of its lair several spiderlings fall down above you.
Whilst in the Forbidden Forest you are also able to control of the weather, change the view from day and night see how they filmed the patronus charm.
What I love about the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour is that no matter how many times you have been before there are always new things to be discovered. Several items had been introduced since our last visit in May. You can now summon a broomstick, measure yourself up against Hagrid and find out more about the animals involved in films.
You can even direct Dobby. The interactive motion capture experience consists of three screens and allows you to see Dobby at different stages of motion capture. Dobby will reflect your movements in real time to demonstrate the process used by filmmakers to bring the CGI character to life on screen.
The size of Hogwarts Castle continues to take my breath away. The intricate design and workmanship that created this masterpiece is simply stunning. It has recently been repainted so looks even more spectacular.
The Forbidden Forest is a fantastic addition to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour. I always leave feeling inspired by the making of the films and always want to return again and again.
The Forbidden Forest will open on Friday March 31st 2017 and entrance will be included in the normal Studio Tour ticket price.
Disclaimer: We were given tickets to attend the press event of the Forbidden Forest at the Warner Brother Studios Harry Potter Tour to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
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